(Guns Save Life) – Dealing with the mainstream media is like wrestling with a poisonous snake: if you don’t handle them correctly, you’re going to get bit.
In the world of civil rights activism, particularly on topics involving guns and the right of self-defense, the media is generally not your friend. Most reporters have a bias against gun ownership and may even harbor a bigotry against gun owners in general, so don’t expect a fair shake.
Even well-meaning reporters can write stories biased against guns simply because of preconceived notions or an overall lack of understanding about guns.
How do you interact with the media and avoid getting bitten?
Here are some tips.
Leave your guns put away and wear nice clothes and be well-groomed. Don’t wear your “Kill them all and let God sort ‘em out” t-shirt. Wear clothes that would be appropriate for church or better. If your church-going clothes include camo or blaze orange, ditch them and wear something nicer.
Identify two or three pithy talking points ahead of the interview and keep coming back to them, just like professional politicians do. Your talking points should be short and to the point.
Here are some nearly universal talking points that are always effective:
- We need to progress toward a future of freedom not a system that re-enacts past tyrannies.
- We’ve had a period where ownership of weapons was prohibited for the common man. It was the Medieval times. We have no desire to return to that time.
- Why are gun haters so anti-freedom?
- Gun control is classist, racist, and sexist. I am opposed to those things.
- Why are those opposed to gun rights such hateful control-freaks?
- I hate it when those on the left simplify things to the point of stupidity… I don’t ever want to be that way.
- I don’t want to manipulate people. I want people to understand the truth so we will all be better, smarter citizens.
- I want to make changes to more fully take advantage of the ideals voiced in the Constitution and Bill of Rights
How to instantly marginalize yourself & your message
This man was a strong supporter of our civil rights, but both he and his message were instantly marginalized by his ineptitude at media relations.
He’s wearing a T-shirt with some silly graphic on it. He’s standing in front of some fringe, bastardized version of the American flag and he’s holding a rifle that non-gun owners find intimidating at best. A picture is worth a thousand words, folks.
His message would have been taken much more seriously if he was wearing khakis and a nice, pressed dress shirt, standing in front of an American flag without any guns in sight.
Think about what you are wearing, your appearance and your demeanor when meeting with the media. The media often think “Gun guy? Get video of guns!” Don’t let them coax you into bringing out the guns if they don’t lend positive, pro-self-defense content to the story. Keep in mind the media loves to prominently display photos or video of guns because it sensationalizes stories for ratings. Guns also intimidate many non-gun owners.